Flophouse Flossin'

Rome SDS is looking for the gnarliest winter flophouse. Is that your place?


The former Rome flophouse in Lake Tahoe. "They were renovating the house, so the landlord said we could pretty much do whatever we wanted," says Rome Marketing Manager Ryan Runke. The landlord would later eat his words.

So, Rome is throwing a flophouse photo contest. What's a flophouse? As Rome explains it,

Flophouses are key to the life of snowboarding. When riders descend on a small mountain town, pack 8-plus people into an apartment designed for three... Is your share of the $1000 dollar rent $125? After three or four powder days, does your apartment smell like a bag of a--? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then your apartment is a flophouse.

If anyone is qualified to throw a flophouse contest, it's Rome.

They had a flophouse a couple years ago in Tahoe, and this place was unlike any team house I've ever witnessed. Anyone who partied a night of their life away there, rode the jibs in the yard, or passed out on one of the inflatable mattresses will attest to Rome's stellar flophouse qualifications.


Dirty Joel in the very unsanitary Rome flophouse hot tub.

Me? I still have vivid memories of my first flophouse. I was a ripe 17 and had just moved to Mammoth from Utah for the winter. Man, I had no idea what I was in for, let alone anything about living on my own with a bunch of super dicey roommates. I mean, I was still in High School. I had been living with my parents.

My room had been lined up through a semi-friend, but I had no means to check it out firsthand. When I got there, the heat didn't work, and when it did we couldn't afford it, insulation was coming through the ceiling, and the floor was a mix of plywood and badly stained carpet that must of been from the 70s. It was barely livable. But I think I paid about $120 a month. That's just about what I could afford. Needless to say, I forever have a soft spot in my heart for the flophouse experience. Thing is, I was in Mammoth to snowboard—I didn't care about a sketchy living situation. It served its purpose.

So for anyone that lived in a flophouse this season, or ever, I salute you. You gotta do what you gotta do. The snowboard lifestyle has always been about sacrifice.

To submit photos of your own flophouse, head over to the entry page on the Rome website. The deadline is June 15th, and the winner will receive five Rome snowboard decks. Show the world what your winter palace looks like.

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